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Traffic and smoke as wood business burns… again

“I’m done with it,” said KFB chief David Scott, after the wood splitting business on Highway 138 caught fire for the second time in a month. (Courtesy David Scott)

Lines of cars backed up on the Mercier Bridge and past Plaza 138 on the highway were the result of a fire that broke out at a firewood operation that had just re-started because of a previous fire.

“Improper installation,” said Kahnawake Fire Brigade chief David Scott when asked the cause of the fire. “That’s twice in 30 days and that’s the last time.”

The operation stored cut and split firewood in the shed that has a forced air propane heater for the wall that caught fire yesterday at lunchtime, causing Peacekeepers to block Highway 138 between the Old Malone Highway intersection by the Sports Complex and the Route 207 off ramps.

Courtesy David Scott
Courtesy David Scott

Assistant PK chief Jody Diabo said nine PKs were deployed, and that it was a lucky break that the station was on a shift change, so more officers were available.

“Or else it would have been havoc,” she said.

Lines of cars were re-routed through the community as fire fighters contained and quelled the blaze.

There were no injuries.

It was the second fire at the location.

Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door
That long line of cars lining the Mercier Bridge and Highway 138 on the other side was a precaution as a fire burned down a business for the second time. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)

“The last time they had the forced air heater and the generator and the gas tanks in the shed, and it caught fire,” said Scott.

An employee was onsite, but had left to go to lunch.

The KFB arrived just after noon, and had cleared the scene by 1:15 p.m.

The establishment appears to have died in the embers.

“The building’s gone,” said Scott. “I told them that I won’t allow them to put it up again. I’m done with it. That’s a waste of community resources… I told the owner that you’re done here. I won’t allow it anymore.”

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